The Future of the Hudson—
American Heritage River or major toxic waste site?
The voice of the people must sound loudly NOW.
The EPA released its draft Second Five Year Review to determine whether the dredging project has reached the goal of protecting human health and the environment. The agency’s draft report indicates that the river won’t be healthy for at least several decades. But NOAA, DEC, NYSDOH and other environmental groups contend that the river will not be healthy for another 100 years or more. The river is a national treasure and a vital resource for people, communities and our jobs and economy. Without additional cleanup the public and wildlife will continue to be exposed to dangerous pollutants that severely hamper the ability of communities to leverage the economic potential of their waterfronts.
The river remains contaminated far above the thresholds established in EPA’s cleanup plan, and people continue to be exposed to toxins at unacceptable levels. This is a pivotal time to make your voice heard and ensure EPA finishes the cleanup right! Join us on June 28 and tell the EPA that the cleanup is not protective of human health and the environment, and more dredging is needed! See this flyer for more information and RSVP for this event.
Submit your comments on the draft Five Year Review by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell EPA that it needs to declare the cleanup “not protective” of human health and the environment, and that additional dredging is necessary!
The EPA and General Electric are touting success in achieving the PCB cleanup, but reaching or even exceeding an inadequate plan isn’t the same as a successful cleanup. The EPA severely underestimated the amount of toxins needing removal and did nothing to alter its cleanup plan after much higher concentrations of the PCBs were discovered. Leaving massive amounts of health-threatening PCBs in the river would fail to meet the cleanup’s basic objectives—protecting human health and the environment.
Additional dredging can restore one of America’s great rivers generations sooner. But that won’t happen without pressure—so join a rising number of communities and New York State leaders pressing the EPA to do more targeted dredging for the health of the river and all of us.
These are the facts:
- The remaining PCBs are dangerous. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) are manmade toxic chemicals that cause a range of harmful health effects, including cancer, eye lesions, and developmental disorders in children. New studies say that PCBs in the air cause people with high exposure to suffer significantly more from heart disease, diabetes and respiratory infections.
- GE put these dangerous PCBs in the Hudson, and should get them out. New York’s taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for GE’s toxic mess. We’ve already paid enough from the loss of the river’s fishing industry (shut down in 1976 because of PCBs), commercial navigation, and tourism along the river.
- Without delay, the EPA must objectively and scientifically review GE’s cleanup to date and lay the path towards an agreement that would comprehensively address the remaining pollution in the Hudson River.